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Home Depot settles dumping lawsuit for $10 million

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has agreed to pay $10 million for improperly storing hazardous materials, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

The improper storage of “hazardous sludge” led to the explosion of a 55-gallon drum at the company’s Marina del Rey store in 2004. The explosion, in a back room of the facility, led to a fire and the evacuation of customers and employees from the store. Following that incident, a waste hauler contracted by the retailer was stopped by the California Highway Patrol, and a subsequent inspection revealed safety violations.

Jerry Brown, California State Attorney General, said his office is looking into other companies for similar violations. He blamed cost-cutting measures, which he said led to more lax safety procedures.

Astatement from Home Depot on the matter said, “We have been working with the state officials to address their concerns and have developed and implemented a best-in-class program for labeling and disposing of the waste generated in our stores.”

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Home Depot elects new board member

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has named Armando Codina the 12th member of the company’s board of directors.

Codina, 60, is president and CEO of Flagler Development Group, a Florida-based commercial real estate firm.

Flagler is a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries (FECI). FECI was acquired in July of this year by funds managed by Fortress Investment Group, a global alternative asset manager with approximately $36 billion in assets under management.

At the time of the acquisition, Codina was the largest private shareholder of FECI, having sold his 26-year-old predecessor firm, the Codina Group, to FECI in April 2006. Prior to establishing the Codina Group, Codina was president of Professional Automated Services, a firm created in 1970 to provide data processing services to physicians.

“We are extremely pleased to have a business leader and entrepreneur of the caliber of Armando Codina join our board of directors,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot. “He brings enormous financial, operational and strategic expertise to the board and to our business.”

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Southern Milling & Lumber plans South Carolina facility

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Florida-based Southern Milling & Lumber will build a $1.2 million manufacturing facility in Calhoun County, S.C., according to the Calhoun Times Democrat newspaper.

The facility will produce lumber, wood pallets and specialty packaging. Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.

The manufacturing plant is expected to employ about 50 people in the area, which has recently been investing in economic development.

Based in Lakeland, Fla., Southern Milling & Lumber specializes in wholesale lumber sales and lumber remanufacturing.

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